Sunday, June 13, 2010

Western Ghats Sojourn - Part 1

It took quite a while to post this. But last Diwali I'd been to my parent's place at Udupi. Yours truly is in Chennai. Getting bored and restless sitting at home, decided to explore the pristine places of the Western Ghats nearby. Time to plan the route.

Came up with the following plan. A picturesque drive to Agumbe was first on the cards. To tell you about Agumbe, is one of the most scenic places on the Western Ghats and is about 60km east of Udupi. Added to the lush green view all around, the attractions for the visitors is the spectacular sunset and vast opportunities it offers to the trekkers.If you are looking for a peaceful break for a few days from the hectic city life, away from the crowded and commercialized attractions, then this is the place for you.

Agumbe is among the places here that receive very high rainfall and is rightly called the Cherrapunji of South India. Near to Agumbe is the relatively lesser known Hanumangundi falls. Agumbe now is a peak and the trek to the falls is a tricky one. Slippery and wild with snakes and leeches, its not for the faint hearted. A view of the Agumbe peak and the ever so beautiful Hanumangundi falls. One more place that is not known much and I could not visit is the Agumbe Forest Research Center, headed by the famous herpetologist Dr. Romulus Whitaker. It is an awesome place which researches on the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats, most notably the King Cobra. You can volunteer here if you're interested. Its on my bucket list, to become a volunteer here.

A click of the Hanumangundi falls.

The view from Agumbe.

The picturesque route.

From Agumbe I was off to Shringeri. It is home to the Shankara Mutt and the Sharadhamba temple. Not only its a religious spot, but its very pristine and scenic too. Its on top of a hill with a tributary of the Cauvery river flowing by the temple side. This only adds to the beauty of the place. The people are super friendly here. They'll go out of their way to help you around. Shringeri, as per legend was established by Shri Adi Shankara, the most famous of the gurus of the Advaita philosophy.

The Gopuram of the Sharadhamba Temple.

The old Shiva temple. Supposedly built by Shri Rama. There is a foot mark by the river that's apparently of Shri Rama washing his feet here by the river.

From here my route was Horanadu -> Subramanya -> Karkala and back to Udupi via Malpe.

That forms Part 2 of my journey. Update on that to follow. Hope you liked reading this as much as i enjoyed writing about. Comments as always appreciated. :)

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